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1 Timothy: True Godliness

The horses in the snowy field and the beauty of the sky show the beauty of God's creation
Photo Credit: Liz Griffin

December 6, 2023

Praying Friends,

God is fully invested in your development as a believer. His desire is that you become a godly person. It is not that you try to become Him, that would be pride, but rather that you humbly obey His truth and in doing so become like Him.

As Paul writes to Timothy the first time, he emphasizes the importance of godliness. He realizes that it is easy to do ministry for God as an act of duty rather than allowing it to flow from a life transformed by God.

Let’s consider what true godliness is all about:

True godliness will impact how we treat others. “Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works” (1 Timothy 2:9-10).

While these words are directed towards women, the principle behind them apply to all of us. It is a good reminder that the gospel is an inside-out process and not the other way around. Our lives are transformed by the power of God, and as this happens, so does what is external.

The above text teaches us that we should not be unduly focused on ourselves, but rather on the needs of others. Modesty, self-control, and godliness will lead us toward good activities that will be beneficial and helpful to those around us.

True godliness comes from a disciplined life. “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:7-8).

As you focus on Christ, and seek to practice His words, you are training yourself to become like Him. Again, the physical body is developed with intentional exercise that is of value for this life, but training yourself in the ways of Jesus will produce eternal benefits.

God has big plans for His Son, and thankfully, we, His people, are included in them. As our godliness grows, so will our effectiveness in His kingdom both now and in the coming ages.

True godliness is taking care of your own. “But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God” (1 Timothy 5:4).

This is a very hands-on, practical part of life. It is a good reminder of how much God values life and family. If you want to be like God, then take good care of those who are in your family. The elderly in our lives are not burdens to bear, but rather loved members to cherish.

Jesus was careful in His suffering, dying hours to ensure that His mother was taken care of. The value we place on those we love is a true testament of our faith in God and will impact how others see us.

True godliness flows from the wholesomeness of truth. “If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing” (1 Timothy 6:3-4).

The truth of God is pure, uncorrupted, and healthy. Like eating nutritious food that will nourish your body, so applying God’s Word will enrich your spirit.

Paul states that we should be living in accord with the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus taught a lot of truth, and one thing He stressed with His disciples was the importance of loving one another. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34).

Paul confirmed these words early as he wrote to Timothy, “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5). Love is not a side issue in the Christian life, it is the main point of it all.

True godliness is dependence on God. “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world” (1 Timothy 6:6-7).

The empty hands of a tiny newborn are a good picture of how much we need God. That little child is dependent on adults to care for and meet every need they have. This is exactly how God would have us live as His children.

The more dependent we are on Him, the more content we will be in life. In Philippians 4, Paul says, “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:12-13).

Paul learned that whatever the circumstances were, to have contentment, he needed to find his strength in Christ.

True godliness should be the pursuit of our lives. “But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11).

Whether man of God or woman of God, for godliness to flourish, we must pursue it with all our being. As the verse indicates, this will necessitate fleeing from what is wrong and then running towards what is right.

As we pray for revival and for prodigals, may God help us grow in our likeness of Him.

Love in Christ,

Bryan and Rachel


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